March at Down Farm

There has been little give in the weather in Winkleigh recently! Although these photos would suggest otherwise, it seems I only get out the camera in a glorious moment of sunshine! After a very dry and still winter we are now into wet and windy spring. The change is always welcome, but when we need to skin our polytunnels, and cover our beds with large sheets of plastic, both weathers have been problematic. The weather is pushing us back a couple of weeks, but so goes the game of depending on the weather. We have the skin on the small tunnel, but waiting patiently for the wind to drop beneath 5mph to skin our main growing tunnel.

A break in the rain! Preparing the prop tunnel. 

Tomatoes, aubergines, chillis, peppers and cucumbers have been potted on, but are still living down in South Devon, at School Farm CSA, until our propagation tunnel is fully ready at Down Farm. Soon we will be bringing them home to Winkleigh so they can give us a bountiful crop this summer.

Henry preparing a bed with our new Glaser rake

We now have 30 no-dig raised beds ready for the season. Pathways dug, and fertility (wood chip and horse manure) added copiously to the top of the beds. Our new Glaser rakes via Blackberry Lane, arrived just in time. The rakes perfectly fit the width of our beds meaning we can check that the beds are all equal across the market garden. Everything (well mostly) will be standardized at Down Farm so we can be as efficient as possible: our beds are the same length as our tunnel, all beds are in blocks of 10 which are the same size, and now our rakes match the bill!

Our early potatoes are chitting away, and desperate to go in the ground, and the weeds have seemed to spring back into life with all this rain, longer days and slight jump in temperature. Jerusalem artichokes are sitting waiting to be planted, as are some asparagus crowns – courtesy of School Farm -, and raspberries. All will be going in our perennial foods area alongside other exciting fruits and herbs.

At the Plough sustainability fair

Earlier this month we attended a film screening of Demain, an inspirational transition film, showing some of the amazing people power across the world, that are helping to make a better future. Before the film we were a part of a sustainability fair at the Plough in Torrington, alongside other initiatives from around our local community. We are so excited to be a part of the growing sustainability movement in Mid/North Devon.